Thursday, February 19, 2009

TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL:Morris' payment date extended, available line of credit shrinks

Morris' payment date extended
The Capital-Journal
Published Monday, February 09, 2009

Morris Publishing Group LLC avoided a loan default when banks this past week gave the company until March 3 for an interest payment that had been due Feb. 1.

According to a filing by Morris Publishing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company hasn't made the $9.7 million interest payment due on $278.5 million in loans.

Augusta, Ga.-based Morris, which publishes The Topeka Capital-Journal and 12 other daily newspapers, recently hired Lazard Freres & Co. LLC as its financial adviser and Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP for legal counsel to evaluate strategic options. Both advisory firms are experienced in bankruptcy.

"As far as we're concerned here at The Capital-Journal, it's business as usual until we hear otherwise," said Mark Nusbaum, C-J publisher. "These are extremely challenging financial times for many of our clients, and certainly the media industry as a whole. However, we remain committed to publishing the best product we can each day for our readers, and to serve our advertisers as best we possibly can."

The agreement with the lenders will shrink the revolving credit loan facility available to Morris Publishing from $100 million to $70 million.

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